Have you heard the term “enclothed cognition”? It describes the systematic influence that clothes have on the wearer’s psychological processes. Based on a study published in the Journal of Experimental Social Psychology in July 2012, the clothes we wear and their symbolic meaning influence our behavior.
This week’s Be Better Challenge is to invest in new workout clothes. As a Be Better community, we rarely talk about buying new clothes. We normally talk about recycling, reusing and restoring, but this week is different. Go to the store and buy something new to wear while working out. The goal isn’t to improve your outward appearance on a superficial level. It is about improving your confidence and motivation to work out.
Will buying new athletic wear make you want to work out more? Maybe not, but feeling confident in your workout clothing helps. If the only workout clothes you own make you feel worse about yourself, why would you ever want to work out? According to Barbara Markway, Ph.D., there’s an overlooked reason people avoid exercising, and that’s embarrassment. Her recommendation, “Dress for success. Wearing clothes that are too big and baggy doesn’t send the right message to the ‘inner you.’ You want to tell yourself: Hey, I have a right to be here [exercise], just like anyone else.”
Don’t wait to buy new clothing “when you lose more weight.” Invest in yourself now. We give you permission to spend a little extra on yourself this week.
It doesn’t have to be expensive, but it should be something new and fun to work out in. Check out the Women’s Health list of the top fitness gear of 2013 for all different body types.
Think about the last time you had to dress up for an event. You looked at yourself in the mirror and thought, “I look good!” That night, you walked around with a different degree of confidence. Now enjoy that kind of confidence while working out. Be confident and be proud of your new, active lifestyle.